It's a Berry Nice Cupcake for a Berry Nice Brother!

A couple of weeks ago, my brother...who lives in Spokane, Washington, and is married to my lovely sister-in-law Mary...they got married in Las Vegas...asked me if I knew where to find a cupcake recipe using black raspberries. For his birthday, which was July 20, I decided to make him Black Raspberry cupcakes. But I couldn't find any black raspberries around the DC area.

I went to five grocery black raspberries. humpf! So I modified and made up a recipe that could use raspberries, black raspberries, or black berries...which I could find.

However, (lucky me!...) I was able to find Black Raspberry Liqueur at the Montgomery County Liquor Store on Rockville Pike...and, I used that in the glaze for my recipe: Black Raspberry Lime Cupcakes with Black Raspberry Lime Glaze!

The flavor was great...summertime in a cupcake. You could use any kind of berry. I'll keep looking for black raspberries. If anyone lives near dc and finds some, let the Cupcake Queen know! We had these for dessert tonight and everyone wanted to take some home...Happy Birthday, Bro...I'll try to make some for you when we're in Vegas! If you live in Spokane and see Jim today...tell him happy belated birthday! He's a sweetie!

Layla and her new friend trying to figure out just who was going to get this cupcake. Lucky for Layla, she won out. Her friend...we don't know his any ideas?... is such a nice boy...he gave up the cupcake for his girl friend!

Here's the recipe:

Black Raspberry Lime Cupcake with Black Raspberry Lime Glaze

Make 18 cupcakes. Bake at 350 degrees.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. Mexican vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup berries
1 tbsp lime zest

Prepare cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

Beat butter until fluffly. Add sugar and beat until light and creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.

Beat in vanilla and milk.

Sift flour and baking powder and stir into the batter until combined.

Fold in berries and lime zest.

Spoon batter into cupcake cups.

Bake for 18 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans and cool on a rack.

While waiting for cupcakes to cool, make the glaze.


1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp lime zest
4 tpsp lime juice
1/4 cup black raspberry liqueur (optional)
2 tbsp boiling water

Mix sugar, lime zest, lime juice, liqueur and boiling water in a smal sauce pan on medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and brush glaze on the cupcake tops. Add berries for decoration and brush glaze on them, too. Drink the glaze...just kidding!

Next winter, thinking about these cupcakes will take you right back to the nice summertime you had this year!

I hope you all have a berry nice week....Rock On!


Battle of the Betty Crocker Cupcake Mixes!!

Battle of the Betty Crocker Cupcake Mixes!!

Yes, Virginia, there is a Betty Crocker CUPCAKE mix! I found these in Target...there were two flavors available: Devils Food and Yellow! I knew I just had to give this a try and see what they were like.

Battle of the Betty Crocker Cupcake Mixes!!

Each box makes 12 cupcakes....and they are a little smaller than I usually like. We had everyone over for dinner on Sunday night and decided to have a Battle of the Betty Crocker Cupcake Mixes. The difference between the cupcake mix and the cake mix is that there is only 1 egg called for in the cupcake mix...3 eggs in the cake mix. Less oil in cupcake mix and less water.

Battle of the Betty Crocker Cupcake Mixes!!

Would it be the Yellow Cupcake Mix?

Battle of the Betty Crocker Cupcake Mixes!!

Or, would it be the Devils Food Cupcake Mix?

Battle of the Betty Crocker Cupcake Mixes!!

Layla voted twice...for each cupcake...she loves the cupcakes...but the overall winner on Sunday night was....drum roll, please...DEVILS FOOD! The concensus was that the yellow was a little too dry...good thing there was lots of frosting on it. The chocolate one was moist and not too airy in texture. It's a winner!

Rock on!


Makin' Johnny Cupcakes: Triple Vanilla...That's Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla

Once again, it's the Oreos that pull me into this vanilla, vanilla, vanilla cupcake world....that the "Golden Oreo". Have you had one? OMG! I mean you really cannot eat one...just one. It just doesn't work that way! I heart Golden Oreos. And, Johnny's birthday gave me the perfect excuse to make what is sure to be the FAMOUS Johnny Cupcakes...after all, he was turning 31! Oh yeah, here's a link to one of my favorite online stores...since he doesn't have one in the DC area yet: Johnny Cupcakes. This Johnny doesn't make cupcakes to eat, but he designs the coolest t-shirts and jewelry. I have the small silver Johnny Cupcake logo on a chain around my neck right now.

Doesn't this close up of the cupcake make you want to sink your teeth right into that vanilla frosting...not to mention the Golden Vanilla crumbles on top. Yikes! Okay. I mentioned vanilla, vanilla, vanilla...I used vanilla paste in the Magnolia Vanilla Cupcake recipe (click here for the recipe)...then I used the golden oreos...I even mixed in chopped golen oreos in the batter...I just couldn't help myself!

Then I made Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Frosting (click here for the recipe).

The they cupcake history...Johnny's cupakes!

Rock on!


My All American Cupcake: Red, White and Blue!

My Fourth of July cupcake is made from one batch of Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes. I split the batter into thirds...and made one third strawberry, one third blueberry, and one third vanilla!

After I split the batter up, I pureed the strawberries and blueberries separately and then folded a cup of each to the separate thirds of the batter. I added a cup of mini-marshmallows to the vanilla third of the batter. After they were baked, and cooled, I divided each cupcake into three layers...then I mixed and matched them to make the layered finished cupcakes you see.

For the topping, I microwaved Marshmallow Fluff for 1 minute (I used some of it to put the layers together) and drizzled it on top of each cupcake. I decorated the cupcakes with strawberries, blueberries, mini-marshmallows and the chewey Legos (red and blue).

This is a very messy cupcake to'll probably need a knife and fork....but it's worth it!

Happy Fourth!


Yeah, Baby...They're Vanilla Baby Cupcakes!

These cupcakes are in honor of mommy-to-be Melissa and daddy-to-be Chris neice and nephew-in-law, from New Market, New Hamphire. They came down this weekend and visited my mom and I went down to Prince Frederick to hang out with them. Melissa has three months to go and I just had to see them! We had such a ball.

I brought cupcakes, because that's what I do! I found the babies at Michaels and I loaded the cupcakes up with frosting and used some chewey life savers as life preservers in the frosting.

Now back to the visit: first we...Mom, Melissa, Chris and Jimmy (their best man who now lives in Fairfax, Va) went to dinner at a restaurant on Solomon's Island called Stoneys, which was awesome. They make the best Gold Margaritas! But, the fun part began when we hit Vera's White Sands Beach Club. Here's a story about the past of Vera's the way it used to be. Vera sold her place in 2006. This is a story in the Washington Post. We had a couple of drinks, danced a dance on the way out and headed home to my Mom's house. The first stop in the morning was to be in honor of Bob Evans. YES! What a weekend!

We hit Bob's around 8:45 a.m. Sunday morning. Here's what I ordered in Bob's honor: scrambled eggs, grits, bacon, two hotcakes with honey, a biscuit and a diet coke. I found out that my Mom goes there so often that the waiter didn't even have to ask her what she wanted. He called out her order (completely) before the words were out of her mouth. The picture above is my Mom, mommie-to-be Melissa, and Chris. We had the funniest discussion about the baby's name, which I firmly believe could be Vera Beverly Linda Sparky Brown!

These cupcakes were French Vanilla cakemix, Creamy vanilla Pillsbury Frosting and plastic babies from Michaels!

Enjoy and Rock On! And, if you see Melissa and Chris, say hi!